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The Steam Console Client or SteamCMD is a command-line version of the Steam Client. Its primary use is to install and update various dedicated servers available on Steam using a command-line interface.

It works with games that use the SteamPipe content system.

Downloading SteamCMD

Windows Windows

  1. Download SteamCMD for Windows: [1]
  2. Create a folder for SteamCMD. Example: 🖿D:\steamcmd
  3. Extract the contents of the zip to the folder.
Note.pngNote:There are several folders and files created on first boot, placing Windows Executablesteamcmd.exe in an 'install' folder is recommended but not required.

Linux Linux

Create a user account named steam to run SteamCMD safely, isolating it from the rest of the operating system.

Warning.pngWarning:Do not run steamcmd while operating as the root user. Doing so is a security risk.

1. As the root user, create the steam user:

sudo useradd -m steam
sudo passwd steam

2. Go into its home folder:

sudo -u steam -s
cd /home/steam

Package From Repositories

Note.pngNote:If available, it is recommended the SteamCMD package is installed from repositories provided by your distribution.

To install SteamCMD the multiverse repository and x86 packages must be enabled.

sudo add-apt-repository multiverse; sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386; sudo apt update
sudo apt install steamcmd

To install SteamCMD add the non-free repository and x86 packages must be enabled. In Debian 12 (Bookworm) the apt-add-repository command no longer works, so you will need to create a work-around (See also:

sudo apt update; sudo apt install software-properties-common; sudo apt-add-repository non-free; sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386; sudo apt update
sudo apt install steamcmd
Enterprise Linux
Note.pngNote:No rpm package is available for any Red Hat-based distribution. See manual installation.
Arch Linux
git clone
cd steamcmd
makepkg -si
Note.pngNote:You will need to have the base-devel package installed to execute makepkg:
 sudo pacman -Syy base-devel


emerge --ask games-server/steamcmd


If your server is running Docker, you can simply use:

docker run -it --name=steamcmd cm2network/steamcmd bash is located at /home/steam/steamcmd.

This image can be used as a base image for Steam-based dedicated servers. Example: [2]

You can find the associated Docker Hub page here: [3]


1. Before you begin, you must first install the dependencies required to run SteamCMD:

Ubuntu/Debian (x86-64)

sudo apt-get install lib32gcc-s1

Enterprise Linux (x86-64)

yum install glibc.i686 libstdc++.i686

2. As the root user, escalate to the steam user:

su - steam

If you're not logging in as root and you instead use sudo to perform administration, escalate to the steam user as follows:

sudo -iu steam

3. Create a directory for SteamCMD and switch to it:

mkdir ~/Steam && cd ~/Steam

4. Download and extract SteamCMD for Linux:

curl -sqL "" | tar zxvf -

macOS macOS

1. Open and create a directory for SteamCMD.

mkdir ~/Steam && cd ~/Steam

2. Download and extract SteamCMD for macOS.

curl -sqL "" | tar zxvf -

Running SteamCMD

On first run, SteamCMD will automatically update and enter you into a Steam> prompt. Type help for more information.

Windows Windows

Open a Command Prompt and start SteamCMD.

cd C:\steamcmd

Linux Linux

Open a terminal and start SteamCMD.

If you installed it using the package from repositories:


If you installed it manually:

cd ~/Steam

macOS macOS


This article or section is a stub. You can help by adding to it.

Open a terminal and start SteamCMD.

If you installed it using the package from repositories:

cd ~

If you installed it manually:

cd ~/Steam

SteamCMD Login


To download most game servers, you can login anonymously using login anonymous

With a Steam Account

Some servers require you to login with a Steam Account.

Note.pngNote:For security reasons, it is recommended that you create a new Steam account just for your dedicated servers.
Note.pngNote:A user can only be logged in once at any time (counting both grapical client as well as SteamCMD logins).
login <username>

Next enter your password.

If Steam Guard is activated on the user account, check your e-mail for a Steam Guard access code and enter it. This is only required the first time you log in (as well as when you delete the files where SteamCMD stores the login information).

You should see a message stating that you have successfully logged in with your account.

Downloading an App

Note.pngNote:If you are uncertain about the appid for the server, tool, or game you want to download, you can use to locate it.

1. Start SteamCMD, don't login just yet.

2. Set your app install directory. (Note: use forward slashes for Linux/macOS and backslashes for Windows.)

force_install_dir <path>

e.g. a directory named cs_go inside the current directory:

force_install_dir ./cs_go/

For Windows: force_install_dir c:\cs_go\

Warning.pngWarning:If you are running SteamCMD from your path env or installed it as a package, it will return an error if you try to use . as a directory. A workaround for this is to use the absolute path to the current directory.

3. Login with the login command

Valve recommends that you set the install dir before logging in.

4. Install or update the app using the app_update command (supplying a Steam Application ID). Please check here for the dedicated server list: Dedicated server list. To also validate the app, add validate to the command. To download a beta branch, use the -beta <betaname> option – for example, the HLDS beta branch is named beta and the SrcDS beta branch is named prerelease. Some beta branches are protected by a password; to be able to download from them, also add the -betapassword <password> option.

app_update <app_id> [-beta <betaname>] [-betapassword <password>] [validate]

HLDS is a special case: the App ID is always 90 and a mod must be chosen first. This is done by setting the app config option mod to the requested value.

app_set_config <app_id> <option_name> <option_value>
Example: Install and validate the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive dedicated server:
app_update 740 validate
Example: Install and validate HLDS with Team Fortress Classic:
app_set_config 90 mod tfc
app_update 90 validate
Icon-Bug.pngBug:HLDS (appid 90) currently requires multiple runs of the app_update command before all the required files are successfully installed. Simply run app_update 90 validate multiple times until no more updates take place.
Example: Install and validate beta version of HLDS (Half-Life):
app_update 90 -beta beta validate
Example: install and validate beta version of the Counter-Strike: Source dedicated server:
app_update 232330 -beta prerelease validate
Example: install and validate a private beta version of the Natural Selection 2 dedicated server (name alpha, password natsel):
[beta name] is the name of the private beta branch
[beta code] is the password for the private beta branch
app_update 4940 -beta alpha -betapassword natsel validate

The beta name for the non-beta branch is "public", so app_update 90 -beta public will take you off of the beta branch for HLDS.

5. Once finished, type quit to properly log off of the Steam servers.


validate is a command that will check all the server files to make sure they match the SteamCMD files. This command is useful if you think that files may be missing or corrupted.

Note.pngNote:Validation will overwrite any files that have been changed. This may cause issues with customized servers. For example, if you customize mapcycle.txt, this file will be overwritten to the server default. Any files that are not part of the default installation will not be affected.

It is recommended you use this command only on initial installation and if there are server issues.

Supported Servers

A list of known servers that use SteamCMD to install is available on the Dedicated Servers List page. Note that any extra commands listed need to be executed before the app_update line.

Automating SteamCMD

There are two ways to automate SteamCMD. (Replace steamcmd with ./ on Linux/macOS.)

Command Line

Note.pngNote:When using the -beta option on the command line, it must be quoted in a special way, such as +app_update "90 -beta beta".
Note.pngNote:If this does not work, try putting it like "+app_update 90 -beta beta" instead.

Append the commands to the command line prefixed with plus characters, e.g.:

steamcmd +force_install_dir ../cs1_ds +login anonymous +app_update 730 +quit

To install a specific game mod for HL1, such as Counter-Strike: Condition Zero:

steamcmd +force_install_dir ../czero +login anonymous +app_set_config 90 mod czero +app_update 90 +quit

For a game that requires logins, like Killing Floor:

steamcmd +force_install_dir c:\KFServer\ +login <username> <password> +app_update 215350 +quit

Creating a Script

1. Put your SteamCMD commands in a text file. (You may add comments which start with //.) Example:

// update_csgo_ds.txt
@ShutdownOnFailedCommand 1 //set to 0 if updating multiple servers at once
@NoPromptForPassword 1
force_install_dir ../csgo_ds
login <username> <password>
//for servers which don't need a login
//login anonymous 
app_update 740 validate

2. Run SteamCMD with the +runscript option, referring to the file you created previously. Example:

steamcmd +runscript update_csgo_ds.txt
Note.pngNote:If you're getting the error: Failed to load script file 'scriptname.txt', try providing an absolute path like /mnt/storage/tf2server/updatetf2_script.txt

Cross-Platform Installation

It is possible to choose the platform for which SteamCMD should download files, even if it isn't the platform it is currently running on. This is done using the @sSteamCmdForcePlatformType variable. (Yes, those are two "s"es at the beginning of the variable name.) For example, to download the Windows CSGO dedicated server on Linux, you can run the following command:

./ +@sSteamCmdForcePlatformType windows +force_install_dir ../csgo_ds +login anonymous +app_update 740 validate +quit

or use the following script:

@ShutdownOnFailedCommand 1
@NoPromptForPassword 1
@sSteamCmdForcePlatformType windows
force_install_dir ../csgo_ds
login anonymous
app_update 740 validate

The supported values are windows, macos and linux.

Windows Software/Scripts


condenser is a bootstrapper for installing, configuring, & launching Steam dedicated server apps.

SteamCMD AutoUpdater

Install and automatically update any game server.

GitHub Repo:


This tool allows the user to use SteamCMD on Windows without command lines and/or batch files.

GitHub Repo:


SteamPS is a PowerShell module that can be used to update servers, and fetch server information. It also presents a workflow to update game servers.


PowerShellGSM is a Modular PowerShell tool to manage game servers using SteamCMD.


  • Installation
  • Backups
  • Updates
  • Monitoring
  • Restarts

Supported Servers

PowerShellGSM includes 20+ templates servers and supports custom templates allowing you to virtually support any games (even non-SteamCMD games).


Faster than most available tools. Lighter and more targeted backups. Modular. Expandable. Customizable.


GitHub Repo:

Linux Scripts


Linux Game Server Managers

LinuxGSM is the command-line tool for quick, simple deployment and management of Linux dedicated game servers.


  • Installer
  • Updater
  • Monitor
  • Alerts
  • Server Details
  • Backups
  • Console

Supported Servers

There are now 100+ different game servers supported and rising. For a full list visit the website.



GitHub Repo:


Run a Steam powered Windows game server in Docker.


Known Issues

ERROR! Failed to install app "xxxxxx" (No subscription)

If you get the "No subscription" error, the game/server you are trying to download either requires a login or that you have purchased the game. You will therefore have to log in with a Steam username and password. If that doesn't help, you may need to purchase a copy of the game on Steam first. See Dedicated Servers List.

Note.pngNote:For security reasons, it is recommended that you create a new Steam account just for your dedicated servers.
Warning.pngWarning:Please use force_install_dir before logon!

For example:

steamcmd +login <username> <password>

32-Bit Libraries on 64-Bit Linux Systems

Since SteamCMD is a 32-bit binary, 32-bit libraries are required.

The following error may occur:

steamcmd: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

The resolution depends on your distro:

Debian-Based Distributions (Ubuntu, Mint, etc.)

sudo apt-get install lib32stdc++6
Note.pngNote:ia32-libs are not required to install SteamCMD; lib32gcc1 is enough.

With Debian 7 "Wheezy" you may encounter this error:

The following packages have unmet dependencies: ia32-libs : Depends: ia32-libs-multiarch but it is not installable
E: Unable to correct problems, you have held broken packages.

To fix this, do the following:

 dpkg --add-architecture i386
 apt-get update
 apt-get install lib32gcc1

Red Hat-Based Distributions (RHEL, Fedora, CentOS, etc.)

yum install glibc.i686 libstdc++.i686

Arch Linux

Don't forget to first enable the multilib repository.

pacman -S lib32-gcc-libs

Login Failure: No Connection

On Linux servers, you may experience a "Login Failure: No Connection" error. This is related to missing iptables rules. You will want something along these lines:

iptables -A INPUT -p udp -m udp --sport 27000:27030 --dport 1025:65355 -j ACCEPT
iptables -A INPUT -p udp -m udp --sport 4380 --dport 1025:65355 -j ACCEPT

The port list is found here:

On Windows servers, you may experience "SteamUpdater: Error: Download failed: http error 0" and "SteamUpdater: Error: Steam needs to be online to update. Please confirm your network connection and try again.". This is usually fixed by checking "Automatically detect settings" in IE (Internet Explorer) through the lan settings in the Internet option menu.

  1. Open Internet Explorer (IE).
  2. Click on ToolsInternet Options
  3. Click on the Connections tab
  4. At the bottom, you should see Local Area Network (LAN) Settings.
  5. Check the first box (Automatically detect settings)
  6. Hit OK, and Apply. Try running the SteamCMD again; if it still doesn't work. try lowering your Internet Security level zone to medium or lower. You can find that in the Security tab in Internet Options.

SteamCMD Startup Errors

Unable to Locate a Running Instance of Steam

You may get the following error when starting a server with Linux:

[S_API FAIL] SteamAPI_Init() failed; unable to locate a running instance of Steam, or a local steamclient.dll.

Resolve the issue by linking to the ~/.steam/sdk32/ directory:

ln -s steamcmd/linux32/ ~/.steam/sdk32/

ulimit Linux Startup Error

Some users may get a ulimit error (no permission/cannot open file) while script is starting up. This error caused by a low setting of the -n parameter (number of file descriptors) of ulimit. SteamCMD uses standard commands inside of the initialization shell script to change the ulimit automatically, but some servers may forbid increasing ulimit values after startup (or beyond a limit set by root).

This can be fixed by changing the file descriptor number ulimit:

ulimit -n 2048

If an error appears (no permission), you will have to log in as root to change the parameter. To check the current setting, type ulimit -a; the system will reply with many rows, you need to find one:

open files                      (-n) 1024

In this case, 1024 is the current value.

root can also modify the limits in the /etc/security/limits.conf file.

In most instances you will simply get a warning message however it will not stop SteamCMD from running.

Getting a Linux 64-Bit on a Windows Machine

WSL does not play nicely with 32-bit files. If you need the 64-bit file you can simply run the following command:

steamcmd.exe +@sSteamCmdForcePlatformType linux +login anonymous +app_update 1007 +quit

You will then find the file here:

.\steamapps\common\Steamworks SDK Redist\linux64

Only the HLDS Engine is Downloaded

When trying to download a GoldSrc GoldSrc mod like TFC, initially it only downloads the engine files of the HLDS, but not the mod. This is caused by appmanifest files not downloading correctly. This happens with both the regular version and the beta. You may have to try multiple times until all the required files are downloaded, but once this is done, the files should update correctly next time.

Alternatively, it is possible to copy existing the appmanifest files into the steamapps directory. Download appmanifest files from the LinuxGSM github repository.

Just deleting the appmanifest files, without downloading replacements from a third party, may work as well! You will get an error at first though, complaining that something went wrong, which is due to the deleted files.

Note.pngNote:For some reason, Counter-Strike Counter-Strike is always installed as well.

See Also